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Do you find Outlook Today too boring? I do! Let's have a look at how we can transform it into something more visually appealing, something like this: (click the image for a full view)

Outlook Today - David Cumps

But just how do you achieve this? Start by creating a fresh HTML page and add the following just below your title tag:



Afterwards, unleash your graphical talents in Photoshop or any other editor and design something beautiful, designate some zones you would like to have, and convert it to HTML.

At the location you'd like to have your Calendar events, add the following snippet:




The code to see your Tasks is as follows:



Displaying the message count consists out of two actions, first we have to add it to our layout as follows:




Afterwards, have a look at the following registry entries:

"0"="\\\\Cumps David\\Inbox"

As you can see, I have two entries in my Messages section, displaying my Exchange and POP3 Inbox. Entries are simply numbered with their value being the location of the item you want to count. You can also leave this as it is by default if you wish to.

Displaying the Date is a small piece of Javascript:



I also added some New links next to Messages, Calendar and Tasks. The code for this is as follows:

New Mail
New Appointment
New Task

Additionally you can add external links as well. In my example I am calling two PHP scripts, running on my local webserver, which output some Javascript, my system's uptime and an RSS feed. The following code is an example of an external link and an included PHP script:

David Cumps


You might wonder what my picture is doing there. Well, it's a direct link to my own Contact item, since I can't remember my own phone number, I usually copy paste it from my contact details. This way I simply get to those details faster :)

Once you have completed your layout, place it somewhere on your hard disk or personal webspace and add the following registry key:


In my case this results in:


The next time you open Outlook, it will load your webpage, ready to be used.

I uploaded a zip file containing the files used in my Outlook Today. Included are two PHP scripts, one to parse an rss feed, and one for the Windows uptime. In the cumpsd.htm file you can also view all available css styles which Outlook supports. Have a look at it and feel free to modify it to get a quick start. If you create something, leave a comment showing off your creation please, I'm always interested in seeing what others accomplish.

Enjoy modifying your Outlook Today! Personalize your computer!
Comments: 11
  • scott

    do you know if it is possible to output the actual date with the calendar rather that just the day of the week?

  • I doubt it, looked around a bit, without much luck.

  • Ryan C.

    Where can I get these HTML files and zip file?


  • Michiel Mol

    I'm trying to find information on how to add a selection of appointments from several mailboxes. I have a script in VBA that is able to retreive that information by opening the corresponding mailboxes and then search for certain appointments. I want to collect all these appointments and present them in Outlook Today.
    I have read many web-articles but still have no leads on how to achief this.....

  • Well, at the bottom of the post there's a link to them :)

  • Michiel, one thing you could do is create some kind of PHP (/other web language) generate a HTML file with links to the appointments you have gathered.

    In this article I am using a custom addin to find the correct link to an item, maybe you can use something alike in your vba script to generate HTML links. Which you can in turn include in your Outlook Today page through simple HTML

    Read: for an example of the linking

  • Der Typ


    thanks for this great article. I've been trying for a while to display as well the subject lines of a specified number of messages from my inbox on the OL today page. The only advice I found, however, was to integrate a folder object displaying the whole inbox instead of only a few lines of neat, customizable text.

    Is there any way to do that?


  • Joe

    Is there a reference for all the features that can be done here? Like a custom filter for tasks, formatting options etc...? Your OutlookToday is awesome. I'm getting great ideas from it but looking for more :) Are there other templates similar to yours we can look at?

  • Roderick Brentnall

    Was wondering how to put just my name on the outlook today page.I'm no computer geek.In outlook express it comes up automatically unlike Outlook2003

  • Chris

    I'm running Outlook 2003 and it seems that there is no "Today" folder in the Outlook registry directory. We're running an exchange server, not sure if that's why.

  • Eric Ver Ploeg

    Wow, I had no idea Outlook Today was so customizable.

    Here's a more modest customization that I can't figure out an easy way to achieve. Perhpas you can suggest an approach... On the list of Tasks, Outlook's default behavior is to list the due date at the end of the task. I generally don't use due dates, so I end up with most entries appended with "(None)", which adds no information, and clutters the page. Is there a way to supress the printing of the due dates at the end of each Task?


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